How to Garden Cilantro

For anyone wondering how to garden cilantro, here is the quick information you need to grow a beautiful crop for fresh cilantro any time you need it right from the back yard. Whether it is called coriander or cilantro, this versatile herb is worth a small space in your garden. Cilantro is an annual that is easy to grow from seed and will also self seed for next year.

The good news is that growing cilantro is very easy to do if you follow a few simple steps. That’s great, since fresh cilantro from the store may be rather expensive and not nearly as fresh as home-grown cilantro direct from the garden.

Growing Cilantro

Cilantro can be easily grown from seed or from transplants, though it is a picky plant to transplant, so it is best grown from seed in the garden space where it will stay or transplanted once from a nursery. To plant from seed, simply sow the seed about 2 weeks before the last frost date and consider planting more seed every 2 weeks for a continuous harvest. Planting from a nursery is more straightforward – simply plant it without disturbing the roots as much as possible. Late summer or fall planting is also a great idea, once the hot summer days are over.

Preferred Weather

When growing cilantro, you should know that it prefers cooler weather. Hot weather will cause the plants to bolt quickly, meaning they produce seeds. This represents the end of the harvest for those greens and it is why successive plantings are a good idea. Continuous harvest will slow the bolt, so keep picking your crop. For long, hot summer, an indoor pot may do just fine if you can offer enough direct light.

Soil Conditions

Cilantro is a very simple plant when it comes to soil and is not too picky, though a loose and well drained soil that includes organic matter will produce the best crop. Like other leafy herbs, the plant prefers a regular water supply for the best leaves and does not appreciate extreme heat. Those living in hot areas would be advised to offer some afternoon shade to keep the plants happier and extend the harvest.

Why Grow Cilantro?

What is cilantro used for and why should you bother to include it in your garden? The best ways to use fresh cilantro include Mexican dishes, salsa, soups and stews, but there are many more ways to include it in your cooking. The most popular yet simple cilantro recipe is garden salsa, which is especially grand with your own fresh tomatoes and peppers. Simply chop up some tomato, pepper, onion, and cilantro, add a little cumin and you’re set.

What About Coriander?

Once cilantro does go to seed, the seeds are actually useful. What is cilantro and what is coriander? Usage of the terms vary by region, but typically cilantro is used to describe the leafy herb used in salsa and other recipes while coriander is the term for the seeds produced by the plant. Coriander seed is often roasted and crushed, and is used to make Indian curry dishes.

Other Uses

Not to be left behind, even the roots of cilantro are edible and are used in spicy dishes, especially those found in Thailand. The roots offer a flavor similar to the leaves, though quite a bit more intense. From roots to leaves to seeds, cilantro is useful in many ways.

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Now that you know how to garden cilantro and how easy it is, there is no reason not to add this new herb to your garden and enjoy fresh leaves whenever you need them.